During your real estate transaction there will be many terms that are used which may seem unfamiliar. Deeds, title, warranty deed, quit claim deeds; all of these items have specific legal meanings which could impact your Florida real estate sale. Here we'll review a few common terms you may come across during your property transaction.
Titles vs Deeds
Often times property buyers and sellers assume that title and deed are terms that can be used interchangeably. The confusion is understandable since the two phrases often are used together. A deed is a written legal document that can convey or transfer title to property. Title is the legal right to occupy or use a piece of property. To further clarify, the deed is the legal writing or “instrument” that is used to transfer the title from one party to another. Got it? Good!
Warranty deeds are the most common types of deeds you'll find involved in a real estate transaction. Warranty deeds are the “gold standard” when it comes to deeds and will protect the buyer in a transaction more than other types of deeds. A warranty deed usually describes the property and promises that the selling party is allowed to sell the property and can transfer title free and clear, which means that no one else will have a claim that they should be able to occupy or use the property. A warranty deed also promises that there's no other issues attached to the property such as liens, easements or other obligations that may transfer to the buying party. When you're involved in a real estate transaction you definitely want to see a warranty deed.
Quit Claim Deeds
A quit claim deed, however, is very different from a warranty deed. In a quit claim deed, the seller is simply saying that they have some right to occupy and use the property and they are transferring that right to the buying party. There are no other guarantees to “clear” title with a quit claim deed. A quit claim deed doesn't promise that there aren't liens on the property. It also doesn't promise that another party doesn't also have a claim to be able to use and occupy a property. In short, with a quit claim deed you could buy a property from a party and later find out that the person who transferred the property to you never had any claim to it to begin with.
When to Consult a Real Estate Attorney
It's important to understand that with a warranty deed, if a buyer purchases a property and there is a lien, or someone else with some right of ownership to the property, because of the warranty the buyer has a legal ability to sue the seller for damages. With a quit claim deed, the buyer of the real estate has no legal rights in this way. To help understand these differences and protect your interests when purchasing a piece of property, it's important to consult with an experience Florida real estate attorney, such as those at the Law Offices of Justin McMurray, P.A..